http://uk.movies.ign.com/articles/847/847189p1.html As Rambo returns, we count down the best of this action-packed genre. by IGN Staff January 23, 2008 - With Sylvester Stallone set to bring Rambo back to the big screen this weekend, we're taking a look back at the best of the one-man army genre! Here's a look at our top 10 picks... 10. Missing in Action Back in 1984, there weren't any jokes about how Chuck Norris doesn't read books (he just stares them down until he gets the information he wants) or wear a watch (he decides what time it is). Before becoming a pop culture icon, the now legendary tough guy had to fight his way to the top of the action film scene. Norris proved himself a capable action hero with his portrayal of Col. James Braddock, an American officer who escaped from a North Vietnamese P.O.W. camp only to return to the country 10 years later to free American soldiers listed as missing in action. For Braddock, the war's not over until the last man comes home! 9. Commando You can't have a one-man army top 10 list without an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie. Commando stars the Governator as retired colonel John Matrix who is kidnapped along with his daughter (played by a Who's the Boss era Alyssa Milano) by a former member of his unit, Bennett, who now works for a twisted warlord. The kidnappers intend to force Matrix to carry out a political assassination, but let's just say things don't go as well as they planned. Matrix proceeds to take out the warlord and his entire army. And if that's not enough he finishes off his former comrade by impaling him with a steam pipe, before telling him to "let off some steam!" Lines like that would become a distinctive element of Schwarzenegger's later roles. 8. Walking Tall We ain't talkin' about the new pretty boy version starring The Rock. This is the original Walking Tall starring Joe Don Baker as retired wrestler-turned-ass-kicking lawman, Buford Pusser. The domineering Pusser walked loudly and carried a very big stick (a baseball bat, actually). Pusser carried on a one-man war against corruption in his small Tennessee town, actions that eventually made himself and his family victims of vengeful mobsters. But guess who got a baseball bat to the face in the end? 7. Death Wish This is the film that people think of when they think "revenge film" or "vigilante." Based on the novel by Brian Garfield (author of Death Sentence), Death Wish follows Paul Kersey (Charles Bronson, in his most iconic role), a mild-mannered, liberal architect in New York City who embarks on a one-man war on crime after his wife is killed and his daughter is raped by hoodlums (including Jeff Goldblum, in his big screen debut!). Initially repulsed by his actions, Kersey soon begins to enjoy and thrive on making criminals pay. Kersey himself soon becomes a wanted man, pursued by an NYPD detective (Vincent Gardenia). Death Wish spawned four sequels that paled in comparison to the original. 6. Desperado Robert Rodriguez's follow-up to his made-for-$7000 El Mariachi, Desperado is the ultimate marriage of snappy dialogue, great casting and brilliant editing. Even an appearance by buddy Quentin Tarantino doesn't disappoint. Essentially a rehashed and much-improved version of El Mariachi, Desperado crackles with explosive gunfights that have a gusto that has not since been matched in action films. The plot follows a former guitarist (Banderas) who seeks revenge on the drug lord who killed the woman he loved. He brings the pain with an array of firearms including a machinegun and a rocket launcher disguised as guitar cases. Produced on a modest (for Hollywood) budget of $7,000,000, Desperado would gross almost $26 million in the U.S. alone and continues to make a profit on DVD and cable. The film launched the English-speaking film careers of Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek, two of the biggest names in Hollywood, and is considered one of the best action films of the '90s. 5. The Road Warrior Long before Mel Gibson was directing people to speak Aramaic, and even before he donned the crazy hat in Lethal Weapon, the Aussie was Mad Max. In the more brutal (and superior) sequel, The Road Warrior, Gibson delivers a gritty performance as a man living in the wasteland, scavenging for fuel like all the others who have survived the apocalypse. He reluctantly comes to the aid of a group of survivors who are being terrorized by (you guessed it) a band of barbaric marauders. The film is a non-stop action-fest from beginning to end, and the climactic chase features some of the most amazing driving and stunt work ever captured on film. The Road Warrior was released to American audiences in 1981 and still holds up today as a thrilling, if somewhat simplistic, piece of action-packed, automotive entertainment. The film was directed by George Miller who went on to helm more post-apocalyptic classics like Babe and Happy Feet. Miller is attached to the now-delayed Justice League flick. 4. Kill Bill Vol. 1 The premise is a simple one: Following an assassination attempt at her wedding, The Bride (Uma Thurman) awakens five years later to exact revenge on her enemies. The execution, meanwhile, is impossibly complex. Ultimately requiring two films to tell her story, the Bride travels from one exotic locale (Beijing, China) to another (suburban Los Angeles) wreaking havoc and getting, as she puts it, "bloody satisfaction." In director Quentin Tarantino's film literate hands, this revenge tale transcends not only his previous work, but the sum total of his myriad influences; borrowing from martial arts movies, westerns, blaxploitation films and countless other sources of inspiration, he crafts a visceral bloodbath that allows (or forces) the audience to feel every punch, recoil at every kick, and thrill nervously at every amputated limb. 3. First Blood First Blood, the 1982 film loosely based on the David Morrell book of the same name, introduced audiences to Sylvester Stallone as emotionally-damaged Vietnam vet John Rambo. It's as much a drama and commentary on post-Vietnam America as it is an action movie, but we can't deny it a spot on this list. The film tells what happens when Rambo is arrested on trumped-up misdemeanor charges by a small town's corrupt sheriff. While in lock-up he begins to relive his 'Nam memories and has a mental break. Rambo busts out of the slammer and retreats (heavily armed) into the nearby hills. What ensues is a massive manhunt with Rambo using his well-honed combat and survival skills against Sheriff Teasle's posse and the National Guard. Ultimately, Rambo's former commanding officer is called in to try and bring a peaceful end to the deadly standoff. 2. Dirty Harry Inspector "Dirty Harry" Callahan of the San Francisco Police Department is an unstoppable force of badassness! The man doesn't seem to get along with anybody of any race, color, or creed. He's the baddest S.O.B. on the force, and he isn't afraid to lock horns with the mayor or to battle crazy snipers, vigilante cops, or terrorists. Harry takes every "dirty job" that comes along because he isn't afraid to put his neck on the line to dispense justice and get the bad guy. By the way, did you know he carries a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world and that it'd blow your head clean off? And he can foil a bank robbery and eat a hot dog at the same time? The prolific Clint Eastwood character was first featured in the original 1971 film which pits Dirty Harry against a serial killer who calls himself Scorpio. Needless to say, Scorpio meets his match in the gruff, fearless detective. The movie spawned four sequels. 1. Die Hard Die Hard's Lt. John McClane is the ultimate one-man army! McClane can take a licking and keep on ticking like no other cop can. Whether it's fighting a group of European terrorists single-handedly, rescuing Dulles Airport from terrorists, or stopping a mad bomber who is out to rob the Federal Reserve of New York, John McClane risks his neck, ruins his clothes, and even works on Christmas Eve (and in other jurisdictions!) to stop the bad guys. 1988's Die Hard redefined both the action movie and the action star, creating the formula "terrorists take over a [blank] and a lone hero is trapped inside and willing to go up against them." The [blank] in this case is an office building in Los Angeles and the lone hero is NYC cop McClane (Bruce Willis), who's visiting his wife and kids for Christmas. Masterfully directed by John McTiernan, Die Hard is a perfect action movie, with great action sequences, humor, character development, a wonderfully intelligent and nasty bad guy (named Hans, played by Alan Rickman), and a plot that actually makes you care about the characters.